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Beer Review #93 Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale

One of the best parts about living on the east coast again is that I get to enjoy River Horse Brewing Company beers. I reviewed their Tripel when I was just starting this site and a few months ago I tasted their fall beer. When I saw their winter ale, Belgian Freeze, I grabbed it right up. I’ve had a few of their other beers that I enjoyed before starting this site and I have two of their current beers in the fridge, so needless to say, I enjoy the majority of their products.

River Horse is brewed in Lambertville, New Jersey and I really need to get up there for a tour. Anyway, onto the beer. Belgian Freeze is a Belgian style ale (shocker) that falls into the dark ale sect of Belgian beers. It pours a wonderful deep ruby color that has a thin, whiteish head floating on top. The nose is pretty sweet, with the classic Belgian spices in there as well. There is a slight roast, which is mostlikely where the color comes from and some heat.

On the first sip I was surprised how nicely the roasted malt flavor mixed with the Belgian spices. It was sweet, as the nose suggested, but it was not cloyingly sweet. There was some heat on the back-end for good measure. I really liked this one. For an 8% beer it goes down pretty easy. The highlight of this beer is the way that the roasted malt and Belgian spices mix. It was unique and interesting, which made me want to enjoy more of this beer. Too bad it is so high in the ABV department because I would love to drink this beer all winter long. (more…)

Beer Review #92 Goose Island Mild Winter

I have a Goose named brewery who’s beer you can actaully buy for you today. Unlike our last Goose beer, Goose Island Beer Company of Chicago, Illinois  is happily in business, and making some quality beer. The brewery classifies their beer as an American Mild Ale and other sources have it listed as a rye beer. Who knows, who cares, as long as it tastes good.

Mild Winter pours a nice amber color and has a fluffy off-white head. When you hear mild in beer terms, you should expect something on the malty end of things, and from my experience, something pretty dry. The nose on this beer did not disappoint. IT was super malty, toasty, bready, and full of biscuit. I love beers that smell like this.

The taste has some good toasty flavors fully by a nice hop-bite. There is some nice roastiness in there as well. It really finishes dry, and leaves a great aftertaste. Mild Winter is a really solid winter ale. It isn’t dark or heavy but it delivers. I could drink this thing all winter long and at 5.6% I could do so for a while. Try it out if you have the chance. (more…)

Beer Review #91 Snow Goose Winter Ale

I will appoligize in advance for this beer review. The reason: the brewery it is made at is closed. Snow Goose Winter Ale was brewed by Wild Goose Brewery of Fredrick, Maryland. When I heard the name of the town where it was brewed I knew that another brewery was located there as well, Flying Dog. Apparently Flying Dog purchased Wild Goose in 2006 and shutdown the brewery at some point recently. The reason, Flying Dog is so heavily in demand that they didn’t have the capacity to brew the Wild Goose brand. It’s a shame too, this is a solid beer.

I read a story that they are looking to find someone to contract brew the beer I am about to review along with their IPA. I hope all goes well for them because Wild Goose has been around since the start of the craft beer movement. On to the beer (that you can’t have).

Snow Goose Winter Ale is a classic English style Winter Warmer. It pours with a deep ruby to amber color. A whiteish head accompanies the beautiful color of the beer. The nose is remarkably malty with lots of toasty aromas coming from the glass. There is a lot of caramel in there as well. There are no hops to speak of from my nose’s perspective.

The taste follows the nose for a bit and then takes you by surprise. The nice malt flavor is there with plenty of biscuit to go around and the a really wonderful hop flavor hits home. It is so well balanced that I was taken aback. I was expected a nicely bodied beer that had some good toasty flavors, but the hops came in and dried it out. Lovely.

This beer has a lot more to offer than what the nose would lead you to believe. I love toasty beers, and this one does a great job of delivering on that promise. And at 6.3% ABV, it doesn’t rock your socks off. I really hope they find a home for this beer soon, because it is a solid Winter Warmer. (more…)

Beer Review #88 K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale

Another winter beer review and another beer from the state of Maryland. Today’s winter seasonal comes from Flying Dog Brewery from Frederick, Maryland. This is not a brewery I am not unfamiliar with as you can tell from my Week of Flying Dog reviews.

Flying Dog’s winter offering pours a nice caramel color with an off-white head. It is perfectly clear and has plenty of bubbles that you can watch rise into the head (that sounds dirty). The nose is pretty straightforward; dried fruit and a bready smell. Simple and enjoyable are two words that I would use to describe the smell of the beer.

The flavor has a lot more packed into it than the nose would suggest. There is a nice dark caramel flavor, almost a burnt caramel that offers a good amount of malty sweetness to the beer. It is also a bit nutty which accents the slightly roasty backend. The toasty/bready aroma that I mentioned earlier is also present in the taste. What I really liked about this beer is that it ended on a very crisp note. Most beers that have a lot of malt flavor seem to stay on the tongue for awhile.

I really like this beer for the winter time. It comes in at 7.4% ABV so it provides that warming feeling. The roasty notes in the flavor profile make me feel like I should be drinking this beer around a campfire. I enjoyed it a good deal and I think you might as well. (more…)

Beer Review #87 Yule Tide

The winter beer train keeps rolling in on Brewery Reviewery. This beer comes from Clipper City Brewing Company out of Baltimore, Maryland. I’ve had a number of beers from this brewery, in particular their Heavy Seas line, and I dig what they do. They make some solid beers that deliver on everything they promise. When I saw Yule Tide, I knew I had to taste it.

Yule Tide is a 10% Belgian Tripel. It is also part of Clipper City’s Heavy Seas line. The Heavy Seas line has the tag line, “big beers in small batches.” Excellent. This ale pours a dirty straw color and is slightly cloudy. It has a nice fluffy white head which you should expect to see on a Belgian Tripel. The nose has some heat to it, along with your typical Belgian spices. There are also some sweet and fruity aromas coming from the glass which added a nice bit of complexity to the nose.

On the first taste I really picked up on the Belgian spices. It had a nice sweetness upfront that helped balance the spicy end. There was some heat on the backend as well, which I enjoy in this style of beer. Overall I think this is a solid Belgian Tripel. It has a high alcohol percentage which helps warm you up on a cold winter’s night. Yule Tide is another solid beer from Clipper City Brewing Company and I highly suggest that you grab this beer or any of their other offerings. (more…)